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Micro-Small Stakes Limit Discussions about micro-small stakes Texas Hold'em (all stakes up to around 15/30)

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Old 05-02-2017, 09:28 AM   #1
DalTXColtsFan
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Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

Hello all, I'll describe some reads/conditions about the particular table I've been playing at then ask for feedback:

I am raising before the flop more than the rest of the table put together. Villains at this table play cautiously with their QQ in case an A or K flops and play cautiously with AK in case they whiff the flop (though a couple of the villains have both limpcalled *and* openraised AK). I have yet to see a PFR that wasn't AA, KK or AK.

Having said that, MOST pots include 4 to 7 limpers, so clearly they're not ALL limping JJ, AQ etc.

Against one particular villain, I raised AJs UTG+2, got cold-called from button, bet a K75 flop and get called, bet a K turn and get called, check a blank river, and have the villain check back and show me KQo.

Against a different villain, I raised AKo UTG, get cold-called on the button, flop KJx, bet and get called on all 3 streets and see the villain flip over JJ. He actually did that to me twice, and in the second hand his passive play let me suck out on him on the river (though with my strong draw I'd probably have seen the river even if he'd tried to protect his hand, but whatever). Ironically, I had a hand where I raised A9o from MP, he cold-called on the button, I tried to triple-barrel-bluff him but it didn't work, and he flipped over AK and said, "I usually don't try that unless I pair up but I know you're creative enough to try that!" I just smiled and said, "Nice hand!"

(For the record, at one point I won 3 out of 4 hands where I built a big pot before the flop and just barrelled and barrelled until everybody folded, so clearly they're not calling me down with ace king high or better every time)

Anyway, the point is, if I'm in the HJ with ATs after 3 limpers, I want to raise, and if I flop an ace I want to bet, bet, bet until the villains tell me I'm beaten. The problem is, these tight-passive villains will just limp-call AQ/AK and will not raise me with one pair. I don't even understand why they do that heads-up, and I CERTAINLY don't understand why they'd play so passively when the pot is MULTIWAY.

*My* thought (and I welcome being told I'm wrong) is that I shouldn't adjust my strategy against these villains. I should raise a hand from a position that I'd raise at any prototypical SSHE table, and I should bet any hand I'd normally bet at an SSHE table. Yes, I will get ropeadoped from time to time, but when I get ropeadoped I'm going to lose the MINIMUM because they're so passive, but when *I* make a big hand I'm going to shove my equity edge down their throats and get them shoveling money into the pot.

Besides, if I make top pair on the flop, it's really hard for the villains to have me beat - if they make two pair or better several times in a row that's just variance. More likely they have a pair lower than mine or a draw and I don't EVER want to give them free cards.

Thoughts welcome.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:54 AM   #2
DougL
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Re: Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

Quote:
I raised AKo UTG, get cold-called on the button, flop KJx, bet and get called on all 3 streets and see the villain flip over JJ.
To really answer this, we'd also have to think about the worst hands they're showing down in addition to the best. Your post points out that it is cheap to value cut yourself, as they sometimes won't raise sets when you value bet TPTK. That's great. If the guy who cold calls JJ and calls 3 streets with middle set also cold calls 22 and calls down on the KJ853 board, then he's calling any pair through middle set. Your value bet with TP is golden and you don't care that you don't always win.
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I raised A9o from MP, he cold-called on the button, I tried to triple-barrel-bluff him but it didn't work,
I'm assuming these guys are calling down with about anything. Thus, bluffing A9o is actually bad. Maybe he only calls this down vs. you, but you should consider ranges. A9 could be too much value to bluff as they're never folding better and don't call worse often enough?
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*My* thought (and I welcome being told I'm wrong) is that I shouldn't adjust my strategy against these villains. I should raise a hand from a position that I'd raise at any prototypical SSHE table
SSHE was written for no-fold'em games in part. You're playing in a passive one, so it should be a good reference. My one comment would be to think about their calling ranges when thinking about value bets. It isn't the best hand that they don't raise that matters, it is about how many combos you're getting value against.

Same with bluffs. Don't be that guy who 3 barrel bluffs because "they should fold". If they're super passive, you don't have to worry about inducing bluffs or balance. Take the case where you're literally the only one betting and they never fold. A hot/cold sim would tell you exactly when to bet and when to check.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:38 AM   #3
daveopie
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Re: Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

The advantage that you have is that when your passive opponents limp with their big starting hands, the pots they win often aren't as large as they could be had they raised. But when you have premium hands, by correctly raising, the pots you win with these hands are larger. This is an advantage that is often hard to see, since your pots just have a few more chips in them, but it can separate a winner from a loser.

As for knowing when to bluff and how to avoid betting their hands for them, those are usually villain dependent. It is OK if you are wrong occasionally. You might turn down your aggression on occasion based on your read of how passive a particular opponent is, but in general it sounds like you should keep doing what you are doing.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:12 PM   #4
suchj0sh
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Re: Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

It can't be that tight-passive if pots are going 4+ ways often. This sounds similar to my weekday games. Like Doug said, value-owning yourself is rarely very expensive, and, when it does get expensive, it's easy to know where you stand as no one is raising you creatively on the later streets.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:08 PM   #5
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Re: Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

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Originally Posted by daveopie View Post
But when you have premium hands, by correctly raising, the pots you win with these hands are larger. This is an advantage that is often hard to see, since your pots just have a few more chips in them, but it can separate a winner from a loser.
This is how you win in no-fold'em O/8 games. Some villains play every hand to the river, but the pots are tiny when they are huge favorites and the pots are huge when you are.
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It is OK if you are wrong occasionally.
Awesome point. If you're playing correctly vs villain ranges, you're just going to be wrong at times. Being wrong based on % is OK. Being never right isn't -- so bluffing someone who in this spot will never fold better isn't OK.
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Originally Posted by suchj0sh View Post
it's easy to know where you stand as no one is raising you creatively on the later streets.
And this.

One small thing. Some of these guys will go nuts vs. someone who has made them mad. You have to be aware of villains who will at time try to win pots. Since they haven't read CaptainR's milestone post on bluffing, you can often hand read the villains and understand. It will be a spot where none of their preflop hands like this flop and the turn card couldn't have helped any hand they'd play... then c/3! or whatever. Their bluffs aren't based on scare cards or board texture or representing anything, thus "passive player just raised" may not be the nuts. I've especially seen this with older men vs. female players.
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:03 PM   #6
DonkeyOnTilt
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Re: Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

I prefer to open up a bit in later postion in games like this. These kinds of villains let you value bet or take free cards basically at your leisure. The less likely I am to be exploited the more likely I am to play agressively.

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Old 05-02-2017, 10:35 PM   #7
suchj0sh
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Re: Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougL View Post
One small thing. Some of these guys will go nuts vs. someone who has made them mad. You have to be aware of villains who will at time try to win pots. Since they haven't read CaptainR's milestone post on bluffing, you can often hand read the villains and understand. It will be a spot where none of their preflop hands like this flop and the turn card couldn't have helped any hand they'd play... then c/3! or whatever. Their bluffs aren't based on scare cards or board texture or representing anything, thus "passive player just raised" may not be the nuts. I've especially seen this with older men vs. female players.
The old men in my game just call down more frequently when they get like this, especially since I am 30-40 years younger than anyone else playing in the game.
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Old 05-03-2017, 03:21 AM   #8
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Re: Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

What I do is become a lot more loose-passive. If they want to let me in a lot of multi-way pots w/ speculative hands for cheap I take advantage of that. And I can still raise my premiums bec at my stakes they don't GAF.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:52 PM   #9
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Re: Making adjustments on tight-passive tables?

Learn the difference between tight passive and pure passivity.

Understand that against passive players, both their raising and calling ranges will be stronger than a more aggressive player who plays the same range of hands.

Let's take an example, let's say we're against two players who never 3 bet the BB HU, one for strategic / balance reasons and one because he's terrified to raise anything but the nuts (but will always raise the nuts if he has them).

We open EP and they both defend an approx 25% range, something like:

22+, A2s+, K9s+, QTs+, JTs, T9s, 98s, A7o+, A5o, KTo+, QTo+, JTo

The flop is J43r and we c-bet and they both elect to fold the bad hands in their range (98s, T9s, QTo, KTo, all the A6-AT w/ no BDFD, K9 + KT w/ no BDFD).

Check-raise ranges could look like:

Agg: JJ+, 44, 33, AJ, KJ, QJs (w/ BDFD), QTs (w/ BDFD)
Passive: JJ

Check-call ranges could look like:
Agg: 55-TT, 22, QJ (no BDFD), JT, BDFD: (K9s, KTs, ATs, A9s, A8s, A7s, A6s), A5, A4s, A3s, A2s, AK, AQ, KQ
Passive: QQ+, 22-TT, AJ, KJ, QJs (w/ BDFD), QTs (w/ BDFD), QJ (no BDFD), JT, BDFD: (K9s, KTs, ATs, A9s, A8s, A7s, A6s), A5, A4s, A3s, A2s, AK, AQ, KQ

So let's say you cbet 100% of an 11.5% open versus both. Equities versus each group (approximate)

Check raise:
Agg: 24%
Passive: 6.4%

Check call:
Agg: 56.1%
Passive: 48.5%

Now you may be saying "how can a passive player, with the same range as an aggressive player, have stronger ranges in both scenarios? Well, because of frequencies. Let's see how many combos make up each group for each player:

Check raise:
Agg: 58
Passive: 3

Check call:
Agg: 158
Passive: 213


So while both action groups have less equity for the aggressive player, he takes the one w/ more equity far more often than the passive player, so their overall continuing equity converges to the same (with some rounding errors as I may have entered ranges in wrong).

This informs why bluffing these player types is ill-advised: they just have stronger ranges than most when taking passive lines. But when you don't want to be bluffing people, what do you want to do? Answer is value bet with any edge you can find, and give up on your low equity bluffs frequently.

These kind of players can be annoying to play (as you'd much rather see a 60/30 guy than a 25/2 guy), but you'll eventually get their money because when you have a good hand, they call, and when you have a bad hand, they don't get paid.
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